Overseas Filipino Workers are estimated at 2.3 million
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2017 was estimated at 2.3 million. Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contracts comprised 97.0 percent of the total OFWs during the period April to September 2017. The rest (3.0%) worked overseas without contracts (Table 1 and Figure 1).
CALABARZON has the largest proportion of OFWs
Among the regions, the largest proportion of OFWs were from CALABARZON (20.7% of the total OFWs). Those coming from Central Luzon comprised 12.9 percent, and those from the National Capital Region and Western Visayas, comprised 9.5 percent each. On the other hand, the smallest number of OFWs came from Caraga (1.7% of the total OFWs) (Table 2 and Figure 2).
There are more female OFWs than male OFWs
The proportion of OFWs was higher for females (53.7%) than males (46.3%). The largest proportion of OFWs belonged to age group 30 to 34 years comprising 21.7 percent of all OFWs, followed by those aged 25 to 29 years with 20.4 percent. Female OFWs were younger compared to male OFWs. Higher percentage (24.1%) of female OFWs were in the age group 25 to 29 years, while the male OFWs were reported to have higher percentage (19.8%) in age group 30 to 34 years. There were more male OFWs than female OFWs in age group 35 years and over (Table 3 and Figure 3).
Saudi Arabia is the leading destination of OFWs
Saudi Arabia was the leading country of destination among OFW (25.4%). Other destinations of OFWs were United Arab Emirates (15.3%), Kuwait (6.7%), Hong Kong (6.5%) and Qatar (5.5%) (Table 4 and Figure 4).
One in every three OFWs are in elementary occupations
One in every three (37.6%) OFWs worked in elementary occupations. Around 18.0 percent worked as service and sales workers. OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers comprised 13.7 percent, and craft and related trade workers, 11.4 percent (Table 5 and Figure 5).
More than half of the female OFWs were in elementary occupations (59.0%). Among the male OFWs, the largest group were plant and machine operators and assemblers (26.9%) (Table 5 and Figure 5).
Total remittances reach 205.2 billion pesos
The total remittance sent by OFWs during the period April to September 2017 was estimated at 205.2 billion pesos. These remittances included cash sent home (146.8 billion pesos), cash brought home (48.3 billion pesos) and remittances in kind (10.1 billion pesos) (Table 6 and Figure 6). The majority of OFWs sent their remittance through banks (62.8%) while the rest used agencies or local offices (3.1%), door-to-door delivery (0.8%), friends or co-workers (0.1%) or other means (33.1%) (Table 9).
The remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report are based on the answers given by the survey respondents to the questions on how much cash remittance was received by the family during the period April to September 2017 from a family member who is an OFW and how much cash did this member bring home during the reference period, if any. Further, if the family received during the reference period goods and products sent by this OFW, the imputed value of such goods was included in his/her total remittance.
Of the total cash remittance sent by OFWs, 38.6 billion pesos was the total remittance sent by elementary occupations which comprised the biggest share of 18.7 percent. On average, remittance amounts to 52 thousand pesos per OFW. The total remittance of OFWs working in Asia, comprising 85.6 percent of all OFWs, accounted for 77.9 percent of the total cash remittances. From other countries, the percentage shares are as follows, Europe (9.8%), North and South America (8.4%), Australia (2.4%) and Africa (1.5%) (Tables 7 and 8).
One in every three OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances
The total number of OFWs who sent cash remittances to their families from April to September 2017 was about 2.0 million OFWs. Of this number, 37.3 percent were able to save from their cash remittances (Table 10 and Figure 7).
Regardless of the amount of the cash remittances sent, for every ten OFWs, seven (66.1%) were able to save less than 25 percent of the total amount received, two (19.0%) were able to save from 25 to 49 percent of it, and one (15.0%) saved 50 percent or more (Table 10 and Figure 7).
(Sgd.) LISA GRACE S. BERSALES, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
The data presented in this press release were taken from the 2017 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF). The SOF aims to derive national estimates on the number of Overseas Filipino Workers, their socio-economic characteristics and the amount and mode of remittances, in cash and in kind, received by their families.
The OFWs covered in this report were those aged 15 years old and over and working abroad during the period April 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017.
OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently out of the country during the reference period to fulfill an overseas contract for a specific length of time or who were presently at home on vacation during the reference period but still had an existing contract to work abroad, and other Filipino workers abroad with valid working visa or work permits. Those who had no working visa or work permits (tourist, visitor, student, medical, and other types of non-immigrant visas) but were presently employed and working full time in other countries were also included.
In this report, the remittances sent by OFWs to their respective families may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs. Data on remittances in this report were based on the answers given by the survey respondents to the questions on how much cash remittance was received by the family during the period April to September 2017 from a family member who is an OFW and how much cash did this member bring home during the reference period, if any. Further, if the family received during the reference period goods and products sent by this OFW, the imputed value of such goods was included in his/her total remittance.
Starting April 2016 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2013 Master Sample (MS) Design has been adopted, with a sample size of approximately 45,000 households. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS has adopted the 2013 MS. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2016 SOF with the SOF data prior to the implementation of the 2013 MS.
The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting October 2016. The 1992 PSOC has been used prior to October 2016.